Election night, Whidbey Island style

Democrats had reason to celebrate tonight, unlike four years ago.
Election Night at the Bayview Cash Store in Langley on Whidbey Island.

Election Night at the Bayview Cash Store in Langley on Whidbey Island. Sue Frause

It wasn't exactly the thousands gathered at Times Square to watch the coverage on super-size-me TV (ABC is broadcasting on the JumboTron, Fox News on the Astro Vision monitor). But the crowd at Langley's Bayview Cash Store was growing. By 5 p.m., a couple dozen islanders had settled in to watch the TV coverage.

Four years ago, the Island County Democrats rented the space, and they're back again for this most historical election. Marti Anamosa, who writes the newsletter for the group, was headed up to Oak Harbor for another D-bash, at the Coachman Inn. "We've got great candidates," said Anamosa. "But because of the makeup of the county, it's not as friendly to Democrats as other places."

Simon Frazer of Langley, who became a citizen four years ago and attended that first election get-together at Bayview, thought it would be a great evening back in 2004. "George Bush won, and it was a bummer!" said the Brit. So this year is a "do-over" for Frazer. Plus he's helping out with the audio-visual of the two large-screen TVs.

The round tables started filling up with people — the food table started to look bountiful, with popcorn, homemade cookies, and those popular Goldfish. Helen Price Johnson, Democratic candidate for Island County commissioner Position 1, was in Oak Harbor but sent over a large plate of hors d'oeuvres. Some folks brought their own food and beverages — it was a typical island pot luck type 'o party.

A young boy sat in an overstuffed chair, oblivious to the activity around him. He was doing his homework — after all, it's a school night. Ryan Desrosiers, 16, said that although he wasn't old enough to vote, he "advised" his parents on whom to vote for.

For those a bit confused by the evening's proceedings, Deb Torget passed out the Daily Kos 2008 Election Night Crib Sheet. Torget is the COO of Goosefoot, the non-profit organization that runs Bayview Cash Store. "Bayview has always been a place about people coming together," said Torget. "It's a natural to have this here."

Harold Jacobs, who grew up in Portland, Ore., now lives at Possession Point on the southern tip of Whidbey. "I'm here because I've been involved with the Democratic Party for a long time," said Jacobs. He's also the elected Democratic precinct officer for Possession. "I came to hope that Barack wins big," said Jacobs. He's also hoping that the proposition on the ballot to form a local public utility district on Island County passes. "I don't believe that PUDs in the U.S. should be owned by foreign governments," said Jacobs.

So where are the Republicans? I speculated about that with a checker downstairs at The Star Store. "VFW, Cozy's, Eagles," she said.

Island County election results will be broadcast in streaming audio on KSER-FM beginning around 9 tonight.

Sue Frause is a Whidbey Island freelance writer and photographer. You can reach her at sue@suefrause.com.


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